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Wiltshire Council offers people power on purchasing energy
9:26am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
Communities in Wiltshire are being encouraged to use their potential bulk buying power to get a better deal for themselves on energy prices following recent challenges announced by Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary.
Wiltshire Council is collaborating with 13 local authorities across the country to create the first ever UK Collective Energy Switching Scheme.
This scheme will enable local residents of to join together, as well as with other communities across the UK, as a single powerful buying unit to negotiate cheaper energy bills.
It is hoped the scheme will be the first in the country to give residents who use pre-paid meter cards the opportunity to participate. It will provide a unique opportunity to assist local communities and the most vulnerable in society, to put pressure on energy suppliers and remove fuel poverty.
Cabinet member for the environment, Toby Sturgis said: “This scheme is our collective response to the ever increasing issues in our communities due to rising energy prices and fuel poverty. We have a strong commitment to our communities and play a key role in protecting the most vulnerable.
“We want this to be the national benchmark in how collective switching schemes are undertaken in the UK.
“With winter approaching and announcements of further increases in energy prices by one of the big providers we want to act swiftly to bring the potential benefits to our local communities as soon as possible.”
Cabinet member for economic development Fleur de Rhe-Philipe said: “We believe this scheme will be of great interest, and will benefit the many small businesses in the county who are all striving to be competitive in a challenging market place.
“By making it possible for them to participate, we will be helping to make our business sector more resilient which will contribute to sustaining local business growth and the economy.”
The authorities involved are currently seeking to appoint a service provider to run and administer the scheme. T
o participate in the scheme, residents will be invited to visit a website or contact the council to register their details free of charge, giving their current energy usage figures for gas and electricity. T
he scheme will work by means of a reverse auction where energy suppliers will be invited to bid the lowest price to supply the energy.
Further details on the scheme and how residents and businesses can participate will be announced shortly, but the intention for it to be running as soon as possible so the benefits are realised quickly. It is anticipated the initial auction will be held next month.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: “As a long-term advocate of collective purchasing and switching, I thoroughly welcome these initiatives and wish them every success. Enabling local residents – especially vulnerable households – to club together in this way could make all the difference in helping households get a better energy deal. I want to see many more schemes like this get off the ground.”